28 Februar 2009
Berlin Administrative Court Condemns Hate Campaign by the City of Berlin Against Scientology
In a landmark decision for religious freedom in Germany, the Berlin Administrative Court ordered the immediate removal of anti-Scientology propaganda placed by the Berlin City Administration in front of the Church of Scientology of Berlin.
Shortly after dark on the evening of January 21, 2009, Berlin city officials placed a kiosk in front of the Berlin Scientology Church urging the public to "STOP SCIENTOLOGY," and containing anti-Scientology propaganda.
The Court found that the City's actions violated the Church of Scientology's right to religious freedom under Article 4 of the Constitution. In reaching these conclusions, the Court held that the City of Berlin had violated its duty of religious neutrality and its obligation to remain objective on religious matters. The Court also ruled that the City's warning campaign served no justifiable purpose.
City officials were forced to rapidly remove the offensive kiosk.
"The City's actions amount to a hate campaign in complete violation of the law," said Sabine Weber, president of the Church of Scientology of Berlin. "We are happy that the Court has reaffirmed the our right to religious freedom."
The Church of Scientology is recognized as a religious community throughout the world, including such countries as Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Hungary, Italy, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many other countries. In the last 30 years German courts have acknowledged the religious character of the Church of Scientology in more than 50 decisions.
For further information:
In the United States: Karin Pouw +1-323-960-3500.
In Germany: Sabine Weber +49-30-364076-270 or +49-176-223 62 717.